Vitamin E Slows Alzheimer’s in VA Trial
Minneapolis, MN - Vitamin E, known for its antioxidant power, helped slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease in Veterans with mild to moderate symptoms in a trial reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
More than 600 Veterans from 14 VA medical centers around the country took part in the VA-sponsored trial. Researchers followed them for up to four years, with an average follow-up of about two years and three months.
Although the disease progressed in all treatment groups, vitamin E slowed the disease by about six months, compared with placebo. In other terms, it slowed the worsening of Alzheimer’s disease by almost 20 percent per year, compared against placebo. The main outcome measure was a test of how well the patients could perform activities of daily living.
Lead researcher Maurice Dysken, MD, a geriatric psychiatrist, says a delay of this size in the disease’s progression can have a significant impact on quality of life for patients and their family members.
“It could be very meaningful for someone with early Alzheimer’s who is still functioning at a high level, and for his or her caregivers, to have a delay of six months in the progression of the disease over about a two-year period,” says Dysken. “When the disease has progressed to a severe stage, the benefits of a delay of this size are less apparent.”
Dysken is former director of the Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center at the Minneapolis VA Health Care System. He is also a professor of psychiatry at the University of Minnesota. Continue>
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